King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain marked the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Bailén on 19 July in the city of Bailén in Jaén.
They were accompanied by Reyes Maroto, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and were received upon arrival by Susana Díaz, the President of the Junta de Andalucía; Alfonso Rodríguez de Celis, the government delegate in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia; Luis Mariano Camacho, the Mayor of Bailén; and the municipal corporation.
They began their day by signing the Book of Honour after which the Mayor of Bailén presented them with the Golden Key of the City. Their Majesties then unveiled a commemorative plaque. Next, they greeted dancers from the City Hall balcony before speaking to two students, Rubén Fernández Jurado and Laura Almansa, who obtained the best baccalaureate and professional training records in their courses.
The day continued at the Church of the Incarnation where they heard a children’s and youth orchestra perform. While there, they also paid their respects at the pantheon of General Castaños who, precisely 100 years prior, defeated Napoleon’s army for the first time in an open field. Two soldiers of the RAC “Cordoba” 10 stood guard at the memorial while dressed in period uniforms from the time of the battle. King Felipe laid a wreath on behalf of himself and the Queen in memory of General Castaños and then greeted the orchestra and representatives of the religious community.
While visiting the Bailén Battle Museum, King Felipe and Queen Letizia met with reenactors of the battle and toured the permanent exhibit focusing on the causes and the start of the War of Independence which took place from 1808-1814. The exhibition also covers the consequences of the war and the role that Bailén and its citizens played in the war.
Their Majesties day concluded with a brief meeting with both civil and military authorities, representatives of Bailén’s professional and cultural associations and guests.